Spooky Films for Cheap Bastards: 5 Great Horror Films for Free on YouTube

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Because we’re running with this “horror in March” thing.

If you’re anything like me, you love horror movies and have already spent most of your disposable income on fun-sized Nerds and novelty singing skeletons from the local temporary Halloween store (pictured above, $89.99 — I regret nothing).

If your budget is running too razor thin for VOD, Netflix, or Redbox, fret not! YouTube is chock-full of free and legal horror movies. Here are some of the best.

The Evil Dead (1981)

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Before Sam Raimi directed the Tobey Maguire-led Spider-Man franchise, he was the patron saint of splatter-ific action/horror. The Evil Dead features beautifully gory demons entirely created with practical effects and so much fake blood that the cast had to mop up and reuse it after every scene. Like a courteous house guest, The Evil Dead delivers a perfectly paced gorefest, offers the right amount of exposition, and graciously steps out before things get awkward, clocking in at 1 hour, 25 minutes.

Ginger Snaps (2000)

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When Ginger gets bitten by a werewolf, her sister gets worried. Ginger’s transformation into the beast is a thing of Lon Chaney’s dirtiest dreams, and the ending is as tragic as it is exhilarating. An allegory for puberty and a cameo by Lucy Lawless is only icing on the Ginger Snaps cookie.

Versus (2000)

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Versus is a high-octane Japanese zombie murderfest featuring dead-eyed gunplay and enough dismembering and kitana-induced gore to choke a cannibalistic sumo wrestler. I won’t hold it against you if you immediately close this article and fire it up after reading that last sentence. The story goes beyond simple hack ‘n slash by introducing the concept of the cyclical human struggle. Similar to the film’s zombies, the two main characters remain locked in combat forever, as they die and return to fight again as reincarnations. Likewise, all of mankind may be doomed to fight the same battles over and over again at the expense of the planet itself. If I haven’t sold you yet, maybe you’re just like the heroes, unable to break your cycle and learn to embrace something new.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

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Not only is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari one of the best horror films ever made, it’s widely regarded as one of the best silent films of all time. The version on YouTube has been remastered and contains the original soundtrack that played along with the film. Tim Burton has cribbed heavily from Dr. Caligari’s look, and the hand-painted sets are a skewed, beautiful example of classic theater design. This visually stunning classic is deserving of anyone that enjoys gothic horror.

The Omen (1976)

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Forget the remake, the original and nearly flawless Omen follows the first years of the Antichrist on earth. When a well-off British family adopts a cute little orphan named Damien, people around them begin to die. Sensing a greater evil, his father Robert travels the country to discover Damien’s dark origins. The Omen mixes chilling horror with nail-biting intrigue to make one of the best mystery films of all time. Gregory Peck is at his best here, and Harvey Spencer Stephens is the perfect unassuming yet sinister child demon.

Article by contributor Cody Smith.

6 thoughts on “Spooky Films for Cheap Bastards: 5 Great Horror Films for Free on YouTube

  1. “IT”S ALL FOR YOU, DAMIEN!”
    These are all great recommendations. I love that you included Ginger Snaps. It’s a really great, fun movie and the first sequel is pretty good as well.

  2. Ah, my favorite genre. Youtube is a treasure trove of old movies. I just watched Terrorvision the other night followed by White Zombie. I may have to give up Netflix and just keep using Youtube!

  3. Had no idea legal full length films were on youtube! These are some of the best of the horror film genre so count me in!

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